Saved By The Rancher by Jennifer Ryan (The Hunted #1)

Saved By The Rancher CoverAvailable: Now Ebook – Paperback April , 2013  Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Avon Impulse

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

From the moment rancher Jack Turner rescues Jenna Caldwell Merrick, he is determined to help her. Soon, he is doing more than tend her wounds; he is mending her heart. Jenna is a woman on the run— hunted down by her ex-husband, David Merrick, from the day she left him, taking part of his company with her, to the second she finds herself in the safety of Jack’s ranch. More than just a haven, Jack’s offering the love, family, and home she thought were out of reach.

Jack’s support will give Jenna the strength she needs to reclaim her life. The hunted will become the hunter, while David gets what he deserves, when they have an explosive confrontation in the boardroom of Merrick International. But not before Jack and Jenna enter into a fight … for their lives.

Jenna Caldwell has been on the run for two years, this is the seventh time her ex has found her and this was the worse. She was able to remain hidden for five months, longer than their marriage had lasted. However he really did damage this time, beating her and slicing her leg open with a shard from the broken mirror. She needed to run again, calling up her ally Ben saying “Rabbit’s on the run”.

Ben Knight is a lawyer Jenna found on the internet two years ago, she liked what his profile said about him, that he helps battered women and ever since she contacted him Ben has helped her run and hide, he has also helped her with her business dealings. When she calls to say she is on the move again, he already has a plan in place; he rented a cabin in Colorado from his friend Jack that she can stay at.

David Merrick, head of Merrick International is Jenna’s ex-husband. For the first two months of their marriage he was a wonderful husband, but the relationship went downhill very fast and when she left him he had just thrown her down a flight of stairs breaking her arm and losing something very precious. She was able to blackmail him during the divorce proceedings and he gave her part of his business. She came out of the marriage very wealthy and has been lucky in her investments, making her even more money.

Every time David finds her and abuses her, she takes pictures and emails them to Ben. She is collecting evidence so that someday when she can get past David’s money and power she can get back at him.

Jack’s place is outside of Hidden Springs, Colorado and she arrives in town four days after David found her, exhausted, sick and she thinks her leg is infected. She stops at a small store and then goes to the diner to get something to eat. Jack Turner is in the diner, watching and wondering about her. She asks about directions to the Turner ranch, and the woman at the counter motions that Jack is here. So she goes to ask him, swaying on her feet. He wants to help and follows her to her vehicle noticing she stands back from him, as she does not like men getting too close yet does not mind having Jack’s dog, Sally stay right by her side the whole time and while they drive Sally barks when it looks like Jenna is going to pass out.

As Jack watches her walk to the cabin he wonders how she can stand at all, she can barely walk but will not take any help. She gets inside and says that after she has a nap she would like to get a haircut and Jack says his sister will come over and help. Jenna takes a shower, snaps some pictures and then lies down by the fire, with Sally by her side.

Jack’s sister comes over to help with her hair however she can’t get her to wake up and answer the door. Summer calls Jack who comes over and they realize how bad Jenna is. They take her to his place and he gets his medical bag, but in the meantime he calls Ben and asks him what in the hell is going on.

Ben tells Jack what little he can, as she will have to tell him who did this to her. Ben has never met Jenna and helps her whenever she needs him. The first four times her ex found her, Jenna tried to have him arrested but he paid everyone off and the evidence disappeared. She even hired a bodyguard once but he was later found dead, so now she runs on her own. Ben sent her to Jack on purpose as he is tired of seeing her go through this and knows if anyone can help it would be Jack.

Jack feels something let loose while tending to her; he is amazed because he has been closed off from feelings for years. As she wakes up she is nervous and a scared wondering if Jack wants her to leave as she knows David will find her and hurt those that help her. Jenna also starts to feel something being around Jack and his family which includes Summer, her husband Caleb and their daughter Lily and she does not want any of them hurt.

After several weeks living with Jack and his family she knows she is done running and is about ready to take a stand and ruin David. Since she can’t get to him with all his money and contacts she will destroy him by going after his company.

However before she finalizes her plans David finds her and drags her off into the forest. He stabs her and when she runs from him, he leaves her for dead. Jack is worried when he can’t find her and calls his twin brother Sam who is FBI to help with the search and when they find her she is in a bad way

After a few days in the hospital, Ben tells her that all the arrangements are in place, she is ready to ruin David. Jack, Sam and Jenna fly to the board meeting setting in motion the plans she has worked hard to complete, as danger still surrounds them they must fight for Jenna to stop running.

I really enjoyed this intriguing romantic suspense.  The characters were interesting and very realistic.  I liked Jenna and Jack together – Jack fell in love right away, and while I understand that the protectiveness Jack felt for Jenna was the reason he fell so fast, sometimes I wonder if it is just that he feels protective or is it really true love?  David on the other hand was such an evil character and after he found her a seventh time he was so obsessed you could tell he was never going to let her go which brought a lot of drama into the story.  The plot was compelling and intense with a fast pace – as this was a page turner for me from the start. I look forward to more in The Hunted series as the introduction of Sam as an FBI agent leads well into the next book.

I give Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan 4 stars!

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